Time: 30 minutes + 1.5 hours proving + 15 minutes baking
Serves: 8+ rolls
We’ve made rolls before, but never ones shaped into anything interesting. So when I saw someone make bread rolls into bunny rabbits on pinterest I thought we had to try that. We got a bit carried away though and ended up with a small menagerie of bunnies, hedgehogs, a tortoise, and a snail. I’m sure there are other things you could make so let you and your kids imagination run away with itself. Our animal shaped rolls definitely looked more like animals going into the oven than they did coming out, but the kids really enjoyed making them (and eating them) so i’m considering them a success!
450g (3 3/4 cup) strong white bread flour
2 tsp salt
1 tsp caster sugar
1x 7g sachet fast action dried yeast
50g (1/4 cup) butter, softened.
250ml (1 cup) lukewarm milk
Sultanas/raisins cut in half
Mix the dry ingredients
Get your child to measure the flour (450g) out and pour that into a large mixing bowl or freestanding mixer.
Add the salt (2 tsp), sugar (1 tsp) and yeast. As you are using a whole packet of dried yeast you can get the smallest chefs involved by just pouring it all in.
Weigh the butter (50g) out. If it’s not softened, pop it in the microwave for 5-10 seconds so it’s soft, but not melted. This will make it easier to mix.
Rub the mixture together until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. You can either do this by hand or using a mixer. The mixer is obviously quicker but my kids really enjoyed getting their hands messy!
Add the egg and milk
Get your child to pour the milk (250ml) into a measuring jug, or a bowl on your scales set to ml. We put ours in the microwave for 30 seconds to make it lukewarm.
Make a well in the flour mixture then add the egg and milk.
Knead the dough
If you’re using a mixer, add the dough hook and turn it on to mix for 5 minutes or so. If you are doing it by hand, turn the dough out on to a lightly floured work surface. Knead it for 10 minutes, until it is smooth and elastic. We did a bit of both – started in the mixer until it was almost done, then the kids had a turn doing it by hand. They wouldn’t have had the patience to do it all by hand but really enjoy getting their hands messy!
Pop the dough in a lightly oiled bowl and cover with cling film. Put it in a warm place to rise for an hour or until it has doubled in size.
Make the animal rolls
Line 2 baking trays with baking paper
Turn the dough out on to a floured surface. Get your kids to knock it back (punch it) and knead it for a few minutes. Start by dividing your dough into 8-10 pieces and roll them into balls.
We made a few different animal rolls:
Hedgehogs, use half sultanas/raisins for the eyes and nose then get your child to make little snips all over the hedgehogs back with scissors to make the spines.
Bunnies: use the half sultanas/raisins for the eyes and nose and use scissors to snip two ears. Make them quite big as they shrink a little when the rolls rise/cook.
Tortoise: Roll 5 small round balls and attach for the head and legs, add the eyes and nose using the half sultanas/raisins. If you want you can also score across the back of the tortoise with a sharp knife to make the tortoise shell.
Snail: Make a sausage and roll up into a snail. Add the eyes and nose using half raisins/sultanas.
Put the rolls on a baking tray, spacing them well apart. Cover with oiled cling film and leave to rise in a warm place for about 30 minutes, or until they have doubled in size.
Bake the rolls
Preheat the oven to 220C/200C fan.
Bake the animal rolls in the oven for 10-15 minutes. They are ready when they have turned golden and sound a bit hollow if you tap them underneath.
Transfer to a wire rack to cool.